May 30, 2013 at 11:42 AM ET
Cuts, bruises, frozen skin, a faceplant or three — the TODAY anchors proved they are a group of Tough Mudders on Thursday.
Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Natalie Morales, Al Roker and Willie Geist embarked on a Tough Mudder obstacle course on Rockefeller Plaza.
Tough Mudder is an endurance event featuring military-type obstacles over a course that is usually 10 to 12 miles long. The events are untimed, and teamwork is encouraged as competitors deal with obstacles that involve fire, freezing water, and electric shocks. Founded in 2010 by Brits Will Dean and Guy Livingstone, Tough Mudder now has 53 events internationally. Earlier this month, the organization reached one million registrations.
With Kathie Lee and Hoda cheering and a roaring crowd behind them, the anchors took to the competition to earn the coveted orange Tough Mudder headbands at the finish.
The course included a freezing ice bath, a mud crawl under barbed wire, tire-pulling and the big finish, an obstacle known as Everest. A 12-foot-high quarter-pipe covered in grease, water and mud, its evil intention is to send competitors, most notably Willie Geist, sliding back down in frustration. The sixth time was the charm for Willie, who was finally pulled up by his fellow anchors.
Almost 60 years to the day after Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first to summit Mount Everest, a shoeless Savannah used a rope to complete her personal journey to the top of Tough Mudder's Everest on Thursday. Like Willie, Savannah would not take no for an answer, shaking off a face-plant and earning her headband.
Savannah and Willie followed in the greasy footsteps left by Natalie and Matt, who scampered up the quarter-pipe like seasoned pros, and Al, who made it up thanks to the helping hands of his teammates.
Here is the bruise-by-bruise recap of their journey to becoming Tough Mudders.
Watching all the action, TODAY fans laughed, they cried, they applauded, and they made plans to form their own Tough Mudder teams: